Putin 'STEALING' from Britain: Fury as Russia 'looting' £500m in exports destined for UK

Around $600million (£501million) worth of raw and finished steel was left behind on the Azovstal mill and nearby port, in the war-torn city of Mariupol. The steel was set to be exported to the UK but is now being transported to Russia. Some of the steel is being sold to Asia and Africa, Metinvest chief executive Yuriy Ryzhenkov said.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “What they’re doing with this steel is basically looting.

“They’re stealing our products, not only our products, but also some of those products already belong to European customers.

“So we’re documenting as much as possible.

“We’re preparing the case and we will be going after them with everything we have.”

Thousands of tonnes of steel at the plant had already been purchased by customers in Europe, including Britain.

The Azovstal Steelworks became the last point of defence of Ukrainian fighters and civilians in the battle for Maripol.

The steelworks and its sister plant accounted for 40 percent of all Ukrainian steel production.

Russia has also been accused of stealing grain from Ukraine, with the country’s agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi in April accusing Russia of stealing “several hundred thousand tonnes” of grain.

However, a deal to reopen Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain exports is about to be signed between Russia and Ukraine.

This is raising hopes that the international food crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be eased.

It is due to be signed at 1.30pm today, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said.

Moscow has blamed the food crisis on Western sanctions, saying it slowing down its own food and fertiliser exports.

Speaking yesterday about the impending deal, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Tomorrow we also expect news for our state from Turkey – regarding the unblocking of our ports.”

Washington will focus on holding Moscow accountable for carrying out the agreement, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

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